Over the weekend, I convinced my friends to watch the popular documentary “Seeds of Death” with me. The video investigates the disturbing Monsanto scandals, which gained significant publicity and forced Americans to question current practices of genetic modification.
In the movie, biochemist Arpad Pusztai tests the effects of genetic modification and the herbicide RT3 (used by Monsanto) on three healthy newborn rats. After a few months, Arpad observes that a rat who has been fed genetically modified food develops an abnormally small brain, damage to its immune system, cancer cells, and atrophy of the liver.
Pusztai’s study reveals the scary truth that we don’t know the potential health risks come with consuming American produce. No significant GMO experiments have been performed on humans, though most of us consume GMOs daily and without thought. I find this particularly interesting considering the amount of time and money Americans spend trying to invest in clean, healthy diets. Do we really know what “healthy” foods are made of? In the babies unit, we discussed how children who are breastfed longer tend to develop improved cognitive functions. Perhaps this is because baby formula contains chemicals that are detrimental to health.
It is shocking that Monsanto can assert control over smaller farming industries. Even at a federal level, Monsanto is powerful. However, who are we to criticize Monsanto if the company is helping to feed our ever-expanding population without any known health risks? As a culture, we should invest more time into discovering exactly how the foods produced by big corporations affect our health and wellbeing.
Digital image. The Liberty Beacon. TLB Staff, 29 Dec. 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2013.
Gary Null and Richard Polonetsky, dirs. 2012 Seeds of Death. 90 min. Gary Null and Associates. New York, New York.